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Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Western . Drama . Crime . Romance

The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.

Actors: Will Beinbrink , Turner Ross , Kentucker Audley , Charles Baker , Nate Parker , Keith Carradine , Rami Malek , Casey Affleck , Ben Foster , Rooney Mara
Directors: David Lowery
Country: USA
Release: 2013-08-16
More Info:
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Visually ravishing, tonally commanding and built around magnetic performances by Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as Bonnie-and-Clyde doomed lovers, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a tragic but not despairing tale of fatal romance set in the Texas hill country in the mid-1970s. It marks the arrival of an immense talent who will be new to most moviegoers – although Lowery is a well-known figure in the indie-film world – and it’s surely one of the best American films of the year. Full Review
  • Sebastian Doggart

    The film is so singular, it's hard to place. At times, its elegiac visual quality evokes Terrence Malick, but Lowery's scripting is tighter and more accessible. His is truly a fresh voice, exhilarating to hear.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Lowery is the real deal and understands filmmaking, and this is abundantly clear in this searing, romantic crime drama and love story.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    It's a tone poem, really, less concerned with conventional action than with exploring themes of love and commitment through understated performances, sumptuous images (Bradford Young did the cinematography), lovely music (Daniel Hart composed the score) and very few words, intoned elegiacally.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    While virtually every shot looks like a work of art, much of the beauty of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints comes from Lowery’s refusal to choose sides.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Chuck Wilson

    Lowery isn't a Malick and he's certainly no Kazan, but he's his own man, and a filmmaker to watch.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    The balance between the slight, near-mythic narrative and the eye-wateringly beautiful cinematography (courtesy of Bradford Young), as well as the aching, spare score by Daniel Hart, create a movie that’s a more lovingly crafted tone poem than anything you’re likely to see on Texas screens this summer.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a film that will reward you for seeking it out. Full Review
  • Cath Clarke

    ‘Bodies’ gets under your skin and stays there. And the gospel handclapping soundtrack feels like it’s drawing you into a dream.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    Lowery’s understated authority lifts his tragic romance above mere Malick mimicry, while Affleck and Mara bring heart to the scrupulous artistry. All you need is a little patience...

    Total Film Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Although at times maybe not enough happens, it’s still a satisfying homage to a golden age of American film and an original achievement in its own right.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Tomas Hachard

    Such an of-a-piece series of visual monuments in one year means that Ain't Them Bodies Saints has a pretty strong chance of striking some viewers as cliched or affected. Its golden-hour cinematography and persistent awe-and-wonder score sit precariously between stirring and obtrusive, inspiring and derivative.

    NPR Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Mara is the captivating center of the film, all the emotions of the men and the child hinge on her moods. She continues to be one of those actresses able to shape-shift into different places, times and characters.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Sam Adams

    It’s an unfailingly beautiful movie that finally stakes out a territory of its own, with quietly intense performances and a sure hand on the tiller (although the trio of bounty hunters who set out after Affleck feel like invaders from another movie, one more defined by genre than mood).

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    The point of this film is the spell it weaves and, by and large, it is successful. It’s the music, it’s the cinematography, it’s the score, it’s Casey Affleck’s hollow speaking voice — they all add up to something that resembles a fever dream facsimile of an eventful movie. Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    Slow as molasses but every bit as rich.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    With his actors and crew hewing to the script, the director’s craft is impeccable. His low-light images are suitable for framing, and there’s scarcely a moment of modernity, let alone humor or loose ends, to disrupt the tragic trajectory.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Since he popped up and broke hearts in Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," Carradine has learned a wealth of practical acting knowledge about how much and how little need be done at any given moment. He provides the on-screen link to those earlier days and brings the natural authority a director craves in a performer.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Lowery has a lyrical style of storytelling that is delicate and subtle yet suffused with emotion and atmosphere. It’s gentle and pointed at the same time. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints wafts over you like a dream, leaving behind a lovely, melancholy trace that hurts.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Mary Houlihan

    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a tone poem that doesn’t quite live up to its luster. It is so shrewdly perfect and solemn that the strong emotions layered throughout Bob and Ruth and Patrick’s intertwined story become lost in the film’s one-note mood.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints offers no glib answers or smooth resolution, but there's no question that Lowery is a filmmaker with a striking future.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Matthew Kassel

    David Lowery’s quietly beautiful new film, his most ambitious to date, is at first glance a standard love story, set in the American West of what appears to be the early 1970s. Over time, however, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints transcends its plot, revealing itself as a cinematic meditation on the daunting power of loneliness.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    As Ain’t Them Bodies Saints moves along, its elliptical approach to drama goes from keeping us on our toes to dulling everything down.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    For all its derivative poetics -- as many exteriors as possible were shot during or just after magic hour, a la Malick -- the film is a lovely thing to experience and possesses a measure of real power.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    It’s disappointing that, with such talent and seriousness of intent, the movie ultimately doesn't have much new to say. To paraphrase “The Simpsons”’ Milhouse, it started out like "Bonnie and Clyde," but instead it ended in tragedy.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Thematically at least, it’s like a John Ford movie with pickup trucks. But everything plays out with a sodden deliberateness, as if something mythic were going on. No such luck.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    It’s a secondhand vision, when all is said and done, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing when the craft is rapturous.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Nick McCarthy

    The film's highly calculated beauty suffocates rather than elevates the story's emotional underpinnings.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints feels like a fresh and poetic treatment of a prosaic story that should be utterly worn out by now.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    It's that sort of singular imagery that ultimately rescues Lowery's film. Yes, it's a flawed movie, but it also is a downright lovely one.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Strong emotions — desperation, dread, desire — are indicated but not really communicated, and everything happens in a hazy atmosphere of humorless homage and exquisite good taste.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    The shadow of Terrence Malick falls hard across this Texas crime drama, a beautiful-looking prose poem that starts strong but winds up with nowhere to go.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Lowery, it can’t be denied, has Malick’s moves down pat. It’s the Malick touch that eludes him.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The chief asset of Ain't Them Bodies Saints is Rooney Mara, who gets more interesting with every movie.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    In mashing together story elements from Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” with the look of Malick’s “Days of Heaven,” Lowery put 90 percent of his energy into the atmosphere and 10 percent into the script.

    New York Post Full Review
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